WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

FBI Aids Investigation Into Mosque Vandalism

Play associated audio

The FBI is investigating vandalism at a mosque in Harrisonburg, Va., which was spray-painted with obscene graffiti. Obscene language and pictures, along with the phrase, "This is America" were scrawled on the the Islamic Center of Shenandoah Valley.

"Nothing should be off the table," says Nihad Awad, of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, calling for a full federal investigation. "We should follow every lead because we are about the safety of the community."

The FBI is assisting local authorities in the investigation, according to Lawrence Barry from the FBI office in Richmond.

The council has seen a rise in anti-Muslim sentiment on social media. Awad believes the acts stem from misplaced anger over extremist activity in the Middle East.

"Whenever there is tension abroad with some Muslims, American Muslims pay the price through acts of vandalism, hates crimes, acts of discrimination," Awad says.

Awad visited Harrisonburg on Sunday, and also went to a mosque in Falls Church where authorities were wondering whether a rash of car vandalism were hate crimes. In addition to the graffiti at the Harrisonburg mosque, Fairfax County Police say more than two dozen cars were damaged within a 3 mile radius of the Falls Churh house of worship. That now appears to have been random.

Vulgar graffiti also was discovered at a high school and a Christian school, according to the Associated Press. Local police say it's not clear that the vandalism was directed at Muslims. Rockingham County Sheriff Bryan Hutcheson calls the graffiti the work of "local knuckleheads'' that "would be offensive to a wide range of people.''


ABC Celebrates 50th Anniversary Of 'A Charlie Brown Christmas'

ABC will air "It's Your 50th Christmas Charlie Brown" Monday night. On the classic Christmas cartoon's golden anniversary, NPR explores what makes this ageless special endure.

L.A.'s Top Restaurant Charts New Waters In Sustainable Seafood

Providence is widely considered the finest restaurant in Los Angeles. Its award-winning chef, Michael Cimarusti, is piloting Dock to Dish, a program that hooks chefs up directly with local fishermen.

Top Paper's Endorsement Doesn't Always Equal Success In New Hampshire

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie nabbed the backing of the New Hampshire Union Leader this weekend, citing his executive and national security experience. But that doesn't mean he's guaranteed a win.

Big Data Predicts Centuries Of Harm If Climate Warming Goes Unchecked

It took about 30 teams of scientists worldwide, using supercomputers to churn through mountains of data, to see patterns aligning of what will happen decades and centuries from now.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.